Farinah Husodo
Farinah Husodo

Farinah is a practicing architect in Melbourne, Australia. She served in the building and construction industry for 15 years. 

Her passion is to help homeowners design their dream homes using Future Home Design concept.

Who can I trust to do my home renovation? How do I know if I am not being ripped off?

Who can I trust to do my home renovation? How do I know if I am not being ripped off?

If you are a homeowner, you would have gone through this question every time you have something to fix in your home or ideas to do home improvement or home renovation.

Who can I trust to do my home renovation? How do I know if I am not being ripped off? Where do I find good and reliable people with the right skills to do the job?

Believe it or not, as architects and people serving in the industry, we go through the same dilemma and questions as you do. Hard to believe, but that is the truth!

We understand your dilemmas, what goes through your head, and your frustrations because we are in the same boat as you are. We are swimming in the same ocean of the building and construction industry. The same waves, tides and storms that rise and fall over and under all of us.

Recently, it is also harder to find an available and skilled person suitable for the job and who is willing to do the work. That creates a lot of challenges with getting the job done on time and on a reasonable budget.

Inflation doesn’t allow homeowners to buy the same product at the same cost as last year.

We’ve seen many building companies that have gone under last year and it seemed to continue this year as this article mentions the first casualty for the year 2023. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11637017/Hallbury-Homes-builders-collapse-leaves-customers-lurch-Terry-Condon.html


We also know some of our colleagues in the industry; good, reliable and skilled workers throw in the towel and leave the industry because of the pressure of running the business serving pre-Covid market demands and expectations, but using a business model that doesn’t work with the current market situation.

This unhealthy cycle affects not only the industry but most importantly, it affects a lot of homeowners. Homeowners get caught in a situation where their dreams crumble, life-saving dwindled and their lives ruined, as told in the daily mail article above. It is sad how this all turns out that way.

The direct effect in the industry is that we are losing service providers, the bad and the good guys, the skilled and experienced as well as the unskilled. This will also affect homeowners. We will run out of people who will do the job which will increase the demand for skilled, good workers and increase the cost of renovating and building our homes.

Those of us, the professionals in the industry, understand homeowners’ heartache and headache. We see the bigger picture of the industry and the micro-picture of how it will affect homeowners as the final receiver of the service chain.

What can homeowners do in this season and market?

My advice is to still keep living and do your best to navigate this changing season.

Where can you find the right person and how do you know if you are not being ripped off?

Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Understand the business model of the service provider that you are thinking of hiring. Understand how they charge their fee and what is their incentive to provide the service. Do they provide ‘free service’ in exchange for something else? What is their incentive to do that? Where do they get their payment from; from you as the client, or from other interested parties?


  1. Keep yourself informed of the information you read and gain from independent sources. Test it out against the person you are thinking of hiring. Ask them questions to compare notes of what you heard or read with what they tell you. Do they connect the dots or make sense? This is how you know whether the service provider is someone you can trust and knowledgeable in their area of service. A trusted service provider will give you quality, independent information that benefits you and your interest without other motives.


  1. Does the service provider understand your needs and be willing to walk you through all available options? Or do they just give you what you asked for to close the deal quickly, even though that might not be your best option? As the saying says: ‘We don’t know what we don’t know’. That is the benefit we pay expert advice on. They can give us a range of options that we are not aware of. Imagine if you go to a doctor or specialist and they just follow your lead without giving you their expert advice and options you never know available before.


  1. Can you relate, connect and communicate well with the person you are thinking of hiring? If you can’t relate, connect or communicate well with the person, it will be hard to develop trust and partnership for your project. Remember, a home renovation and home building project is a long-term project that spans many months and even over a year period. Don’t just look at the dollar amount you are paying the person. Having your peace of mind knowing someone will look after your interest is also a return of investment and key performance indicators of hiring the right person.


If you want to have in-depth knowledge about home building and renovating, I would like to offer you a Free digital book Future Home Design, in exchange for your email address so we can keep in touch through my weekly write-up https://studiom514.com.au/free-resources


If you prefer to buy your own copy, head over to Amazon for the same digital copy, paperback or audiobook https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09KGW89K9


#melbournearchitect #melbournearchitecture #homebuilding #renovatingyourhome #residentialarchitect

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